Sir Bobby Charlton pays tribute to Bobby Moore ahead of the 20th anniversary of his death
Sir Bobby Charlton has led the tributes to England legend Bobby Moore, as the 20th anniversary of his death approaches.
Moore led the Three Lions to their finest moment in 1966, as an integral part of the team which defeated West Germany by 4-2 at Wembley to lift the World Cup.
And Charlton was alongside him for many of Moore’s 108 caps, as well as playing against him when Manchester United met Moore’s West Ham.
It will be 20 years on Sunday since Moore passed away at the age of 51 and Charlton believes his talent and career should never be forgotten.
He said: "Bobby Moore is England's icon, and rightly so.
"He was the captain and our leader. He could both read what was going to happen before it actually did.
"It was beautiful to look at him when he played. Nobody tackled him. He just oozed class.
"He was just a brilliant defender, probably cultured is the right word.
"If he had to speed up a little bit he could easily do it.
"And I never saw him head the ball. Maybe there was one match at West Ham when he scored with his head. But that is one goal in 20 years."
Charlton admits that the Barking-born defender was always destined for the top, after breaking into West Ham’s team as a youngster.
He went on to make over 500 appearances for the Hammers and won The FA Cup in 1964 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup the following year ahead of the World Cup success 12 months later.
"People were talking about Bobby when he was just 16 or 17," added Charlton.
"He was ready for it even then, it was just a case of him fully growing into a man rather than a lad.
"He had an influence on every player. When he started at West Ham everyone knew it would only be a couple of years before he became the captain.
"Sometimes when we played West Ham with Manchester United we used to think 'shall we put him under a bit of pressure at the back?'
"After a period of time we tended to decide it wasn't a very good idea - it was better to keep out of his way."
And Charlton admits his thoughts will be focused on the anniversary of his death this weekend.
He said: "Bobby is not with us anymore but he left us with lots of memories.
"He was a true great, a really clever person and an absolute pleasure to play with.
The Bobby Moore Fund
In 1993 when Bobby Moore OBE died prematurely from bowel cancer at the age of 51, the nation grieved for a football legend and a true gentleman. Stephanie Moore MBE established the Bobby Moore Fund, in partnership with Cancer Research UK in 1993. Since its launch The Fund has raised over £18.8m for ground-breaking bowel cancer research projects and awareness.
20th Anniversary – Make Bobby Proud
2013 is the 20th anniversary of the Bobby Moore Fund so to mark the occasion the Bobby Moore Fund are launching a new campaign for Bowel Cancer Awareness month in April 2013 to ‘Make Bobby Proud’.
There are plenty of ways to get involved to help Make Bobby Proud in 2013. The Bobby Moore Fund benefited from a direct association with The FA England Awards at St. George’s Park earlier this month while The FA donated £25,000 to the Bobby Moore Fund, which was then matched by the England players through the England Footballers Foundation.
You can make a donation to the Bobby Moore Fund quickly and easily. Just text Hero065 to 70070 to donate £5 to the Bobby Moore Fund.
100% of donations will go to Cancer Research UK’s Bobby Moore Fund. UK residents 16+ only. See Terms & Conditions at www.bobbymoorefund.org Reg charity nos: England (1089464); Scotland (SC041666); IoM (1103)